Max Verstappen takes part in a track walk in Qatar ahead of hearing

Off the circuit again, Max? Red Bull star Verstappen is pictured on a rare track walk in Qatar – after previously admitting he ‘can’t be a***d’ to do them – as he waits to face the music at hearing in the wake of tussle with rival Lewis Hamilton in Brazil

  • Max Verstappen has been pictured taking a rare track walk in Qatar on Thursday
  • The 24-year-old driver is sweating over the result of Mercedes’ appeal hearing
  • The Red Bull star ran Lewis Hamilton off track during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
  • The FIA did not punish Verstappen at the time and Hamilton still went on to win
  • However, new on-board footage has resulted in fresh calls from Mercedes 

Max Verstappen has been spotted on the kerb once again as he takes a rare track walk in Qatar while waiting on the result of Mercedes’ appeal hearing.

Verstappen was seen walking the track as he waits to face the music after Mercedes challenged the FIA’s decision not to penalise him for running Lewis Hamilton off the road during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The decision comes as a surprise considering the Dutch driver previously admitted he ‘couldn’t be a***d’ to do them’ and that he would rather spend ‘a few more minutes in bed’. 

Max Verstappen has been spotted back on the kerbing once again as he takes a rare track walk in Qatar as he awaits the result of Mercedes’ appeal hearing 

He was seen walking the track after Mercedes challenged the FIA’s decision not to penalise him for running Lewis Hamilton off the road during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Verstappen has been left sweating over the result of the hearing as he could be handed a grid penalty or five-second penalty ahead of Sunday’s race in Qatar if found guilty.

So, to calm his nerves, he was seen taking part in a track walk with his Red Bull team on Thursday morning.

Track walks are an opportunity for drivers to get used to the track with their engineers and discuss their strategy for an upcoming race.

However, Verstappen is not usually a fan of walking the track before a race – having once said he couldn’t be bothered and that would rather spend the time in bed.

During a press conference in June, Verstappen expressed his opinion on track walking. He told reporters: ‘I haven’t done [a track walk] since 2017.

‘I’ll have a few more minutes in bed, and if I want to know the track, I will drive my out lap a bit slower, look around, you know?’.

Track walks are an opportunity for drivers to get used to the track with their engineers and discuss their strategy for an upcoming race

However, Verstappen (middle) is not a fan of walking the track before a race and once said he couldn’t be bothered and that would rather spend the time in bed

Verstappen is not the only driver to dismiss track walking. Lewis Hamilton previously said track walks make ‘zero difference’, while Ricciardo admitted he stopped doing track walks in 2014 because he finds them a ‘waste of time’ – unless he was checking out a new track.

Nevertheless, it is clear to see that Verstappen took part in the track walk to distract himself from the Mercedes appeal hearing as a five-second penalty would drop him to third place.

Mercedes won the right of appeal over the decision not to penalise Verstappen during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on Sunday the 14th of November.

Hamilton won the race with an incredible comeback drive to narrow the gap to title rival Verstappen to 14 points with three races left.

The British driver did so despite being shoved aside by the Dutchman in the second half of Sunday’s race.

Stewards – who have access to just one live feed per car during a race – decided that Verstappen was not guilty of driving his arch rival off track despite the pair almost colliding on lap 48.

Therefore, it is clear to see that Verstappen (third from the right)  took part in the track walk to distract himself from the Mercedes appeal hearing

The incident took place during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on Sunday the 14th of November

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was shocked by the decision and even called it ‘laughable’.

However, Mercedes won the right of appeal over the decision not to penalise Verstappen after front-facing footage was downloaded.

The German manufacturer have subsequently been invited to a hearing Thursday afternoon to review the footage and discuss the matter.

In order to win the hearing, Mercedes need to present ‘a significant and relevant new element which is unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned’.

F1 stewards will review the incident on Thursday, November 18 2021 at 5pm Local (Qatar) time and 2pm GMT.

F1 released a statement declaring their decision to review the case after the FIA race director Michael Masi revealed that on-board footage from Verstappen’s car was not available to him during the grand prix.

Hamilton won the race with an incredible comeback drive to narrow the gap to title rival Verstappen to 14 points with three races left 

Should Verstappen be found guilty of breaking the rules, he could be handed either a grid penalty or five-second penalty ahead of Sunday’s race in Qatar 

It read: ‘In accordance with Art. 14 of the International Sporting Code (ISC), and following the petition for review by Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, lodged on 16 November 2021, the Team Manager and such witnesses as the Competitor may request, up to three, are required to appear via video conference (invitation by separate cover) at 17:00 hrs Local (Qatar) on Thursday, November 18 2021.

‘In accordance with Art. 14 ISC this hearing is to determine whether the Right of Review exists in this case, ie. whether ‘a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned’.

‘The names and positions of all attendees that the Competitor intends to request attend must be provided in writing no later than 12:00hrs Local (Qatar) on 18 November 2021 to the Stewards Secretary.’      




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